Editor's note: Deseret News reporters have provided unofficial line by line transcripts of much of Wanda Barzee's testimony from Thursday.
SALT LAKE CITY — The estranged wife of the man on trial for kidnapping Elizabeth Smart took the witness stand about 1 p.m. Thursday to testify for the very first time. Defense attorney Bob Steele began asking her questions.
Judge: Wanda, will you stand and be sworn please?
(She is sworn and spells her name.)
Bob Steele: Good afternoon. Do you know Brian David Mitchell? What is your relationship to him?
Wanda Barzee: I'm married to him.
Steele: How long have you been married?
Barzee: I think about 25 years.
Steele: When did you meet him?
Barzee: I met him, it was about in 1985, I was introduced to him at the 10th ward Salt Lake Park Stake.
Steele: Were you both members?
Steele: And where did you have more contact with him?
Barzee: Originally, I met him in group counseling with Jolene Green.
Steele: What kind of group counseling was it?
Barzee: I was told I was gonna learn how to get in touch with feelings so I wouldn't get depressed.
Steele: What kind of things were talked about in the group counseling, was it all about depression or were there other things?
Barzee: There were other things, there were individual problems that people had.
Steele: Was depression the thing you all shared or was there something else you all shared?
Barzee: I don't remember.
Steele: How did you become close through the group counseling?
Barzee: My bishop told me I would meet someone who had the kind of problems I had. I was introduced to Brian in the ward and then … over a problem I had in a previous relationship with children, I didn't want to say anything, but Brian came walking in and when Jolene Green got near to me, I opened my heart about what was bothering me. There was a married man there who wanted to comfort me by holding my hand and when Jolene got around to Brian … he wanted to be the one to comfort me and he held my hand. And we held hands from then on.
Steele: How long were you in the therapy group?
Barzee: I don't remember. I think about four weeks.
Steele: Did you strike up a friendship? Did you talk?
Barzee: It was in the next week, I knew Brian didn't have a car. It was cold outside, and I offered him a ride home. We started talking and we were friends ever since.
Steele: You said you were going to meet someone with the same kind of problems you had. What did you take that to mean? Take a deep breath and you can wait a second before answering.
Barzee: I was married to my first husband for 20 years … (I had) six children in a very abusive situation. … I never did heal from that first relationship before I met Brian… There was a house I sold in Sandy. I thought I was gonna be all right (but) I was terrified of being alone and desperate to have … I didn't want to tell my problems to anybody else. Brian was so supportive of me and became my best friend.
Steele: Did he have similar experiences?
Barzee: Yes, he said he was abused also.
Steele: Did he have the same kind of anxieties about the future? Was he worried about being alone?
Barzee: He never said that.
Steele: He enjoyed being with you?
Steele: After the first week, what happened?
Barzee: He would call me on the phone every night from work. He was a maintenance man doing different jobs. He would call and I would talk to him until 1 in the morning.
Steele: What did you talk about?
Barzee: I don't remember.
Steele: Was it a good thing to talk to him?
Barzee: Yes. He was very supportive of me and my situation and I understood that he had become active in church just long enough to have been ordained an elder. He had been through the temple and received his endowments so I thought he was a righteous man.
Steele: Were you involved in the church?
Steele: How long?
Barzee: I was active in church when I was very small.
Steele: And most recently at the time you met him, were you active in church?
Steele: What kinds of things did you do?
Barzee: I was ward organist and that's what I did mostly.
Steele: So you're having nightly conversations with him until early in the morning. How did the relationship progress from there?
Barzee: My bishop and stake president, it wasn't approved by the church that we were both going through a divorce, and normally it wasn't approved by the church that we date. But the stake president and bishop knew we needed each other as friends so they condoned the relationship. Brian would come over to my house and I would feed him meals and we'd go to church together.
Steele: Describe the support. How did he need you as friend?
Barzee: I had to leave all the children who were abusive to me. I was forced to leave my first husband in order to survive myself. And I was depressed. I was on 150 milligrams of antidepressants and so I wasn't able have custody of my little girl until I started feeling better. I started to feel better and … was told he was going to fight for custody of my little girl and he fought me against that. But he physically took my little girl away from me on a weekend visit and took her to my bishop's office. … The bishop told me to get counseling and that I needed to work out the relationship with my husband.
Steele: Let me bring it back to you and Brian. Was he around immediately after this time? Where did you meet him?
Barzee: He was around when I had visitation. We took her to an arts festival one time.
Steele: That was a way he was supportive of you. How were you supportive of him? How did he need you?
Barzee: He was always around. He never told me how he needed me.
Steele: That may be the way most men act in any case. What did you think he needed you for?
Barzee: I thought we were friends. He seemed to give me more support than I gave him. He didn't seem to need much.
Steele: You've said you were having problems at that time, taking antidepressants. Did you have a history of mental health problems or was this the first time?
Barzee: I had never heard of depression or abuse in my life. It wasn't until, I was always going to the bishop to tell him the problems I was having with my family. The bishop always thought I was blowing things out of proportion. It wasn't until my children were older and they were all acting out that the bishop realized I needed help and when my son was suicidal, he stole silver coins from neighbors. That's when I started getting help from counselors.
Steele: Is it your understanding that Brian had also had mental health problems?
Barzee: No, not at that time. He was going to counseling, group counseling. He just didn't open up very much.
Steele: Did he open up with you on those phone calls?
Barzee: Um, we just talked. I don't remember what we talked about, but it was just a casual conversation.
Steele: How soon after you met did you get married?
Barzee: We had nine months of courtship. We got married the day his divorce was final on Nov. 24, 1985.
Steele: So you met earlier in 1985?
Steele: What was the first year of marriage like?
Barzee: It was hellish.
Steele: Why was it hellish?
Barzee: The arguments we would get in. He would be possessive with me and controlling.
Steele: What were you arguing about?
Barzee: I don't remember.
Steele: Do your remember how the arguments would come about?
Steele: Did it grow out of the problems in your previous marriages do you think? The two of you?
Barzee: I think so.
Steele: Did you have children around that first year?
Barzee: No. He would always say it was a good thing that we didn't have our children because he didn't think our marriage would have lasted.
Steele: What did he mean by that?
Barzee: Well, Bishop England gave me a blessing and told me Satan would do everything in his power to separate us and the Lord would help us work out our problems.
Steele: You took that to mean you would work through the problems?
Steele: Did you work through those problems?
Barzee: Well, it was painful and difficult, but yes. Brian would tell me was consumed with fear and doubt but he wouldn't talk to me about what he was fearful of. He would get angry and we would get in an argument and he would leave the house before he got so bad he would hurt somebody or destroy something.
Steele: Did he tell you he had these problems before?
Barzee: He would never talk about what he did. He would just talk about his ex wife.
Steele: Did he talk about a TV?
Barzee: Yes he did.
Steele: What did he tell you about the TV?
Barzee: He told me that he was so angry that he took the television out and threw it on the sidewalk.
Steele: And what did he tell you about that? Why would he leave the house?
Barzee: He didn't want to get that angry any more so he wouldn't destroy something or hurt anybody.
Steele: How long would he be gone?
Barzee: He would be a few minutes. There was one time he was gone for several hours. The argument was so bad. It was raining outside and it was 11 or 12 o'clock and he came back saying he was sorry he ever destroyed me.
Steele: When he came back the other times, would he be less angry?
Barzee: Yes. He would be gone long enough to cool down.
Steele: So he understood how to do that?
Steele: By the end of the year, were you having fewer arguments?
Barzee: Yes, well it wasn't until … I was trying to get a sealing cancellation from my first husband in the temple and that took some time. And it was during that period that Brian and I had the worst problems. My bishop thought it was because of Satan's power but Brian didn't seem as fearful when we got sealed in the temple on Jan. 23, 1988.
Steele: It took a lot of years to work through all that stuff?
Barzee: Yeah. Jolene Green told me in one session that I needed to be the one in control and not feed the fire and help Brian confront his fear and doubts.
Steele: You said this before, consumed in his fear and doubt. Do you know what that means?
Barzee: I never knew what he was fearful of. There were times he would scream into the pillow he would just scream muffling the sounds in the pillow trying to make himself cry.
Steele: Did he ever cry?
Barzee: He never did.
Steele: Did it help him to scream into the pillow?
Barzee: He didn't say.
Steele: What was going on just before he'd say 'I'm consumed in fear and doubt?'
Barzee: I don't remember.
Steele: The marriage seems better three years into it in 1998. What is going on then?
Barzee: Well he our communication. … Well, I uh, I learned to, I went through a refining fire and my defensive walls came down and I was less argumentative of him and that's when we were sealed in the temple. But he just didn't seem to be as fearful and I just thought our marriage was improving and he had, um, he was called as high councilman, made a high priest and even served as a counselor in the bishopric for a while. And I didn't think about it until a few days ago but when he was released as a counselor and the bishop was released, I think he was aspiring for a higher position. He thought he should be the one to be bishop.
Steele: But he wasn't called?
Barzee: He wasn't.
Steele: Your marriage was better at the time?
Barzee: He was working at O.C. Tanner dye cutters. He made our wedding settings. He made five sets.
Steele: Were you working?
Steele: What were you doing at the time?
Barzee: I stayed at home as a housewife we had custody of my little girl, Marie, 11 years old. For three years she left our home and went to live with her dad at the age of 14.
Steele: What years was she with you, what were the three years? Did it start in '88?
Barzee: We got custody of Marie when we were married a year so that would be '86.
Steele: '86 to '89?
Steele: You spent a lot of time each day with music?
Steele: You were a musician? What kind of music did you play?
Barzee: I play the organ. We had an organ in our apartment.
Steele: How long would you practice?
Barzee: I would practiced six to eight hours a day.
Steele: Sounds like a full time job.
Steele: Did you enjoy that?
Steele: Were you studying with anyone at that time, 1988 to 1990?
Steele: Were you studying with anyone before that?
Barzee: I was studying with Clay Christiansen in 1980, before that. I played my first organ recital in 1982 and then because of family problems I had, I wasn't able to continue at that time.
Steele: When did you play your second organ recital?
Barzee: Two years after Brian and I were married. I played that in the 10th ward.
Steele: At that time were you studying with somebody, were you, did you and Brian socialize with anyone?
Barzee: I don't remember socializing very much.
Steele: Did you see your family?
Barzee: No not very much.
Steele: Did you see his family?
Barzee: We'd be invited to dinners, picnics once in a while, family gatherings, mostly around Christmas time.
Steele: And you would go to those?
Steele: Any other kids in the home, '88, 1990, that time frame?
Barzee: I had custody of my daughter Marie and my sons Mark and Derek lived with us, and I think Brian's son that he had adopted out came back and lived with us around that time too so we had four children.
Steele: Did you get along with Travis?
Steele: At some point did you start temple work, you and Brian?
Barzee: I don't remember what year it was. Brian was a worker for a year and a half before I was called to serve with him. Then we did couples parts together and endowments.
Steele: Did you enjoy that? You were fully involved in church, sincere in beliefs? Was Brian the same?
Barzee: I thought so.
Steele: Did you continue to have lots of conversations with Brian throughout your marriage?
Barzee: We had a hard time communicating. I don't remember what year, but probably 1990-1992, around there, but he left the house angry and went to a friend's house and stayed there. I called him up asked when he would come home. He said he would when he was good and ready to, and that upset me. I called my mother and I went to my mother's home and stayed for a while until later that night. And then I called Brian and he'd come home and he was surprised I was gone. And anyway, we had gone to the bishop and he about courses working together that they have to work together in order to get along. And that seemed to click something in Brian and we seemed to communicate better after that.
Steele: In 1992, things worked out better once again. Where you talking more, fighting less?
Barzee: Fighting less. But I think I just learned to be more silent, and learned to be submissive and obedient. He had made his sister and her fiancé a wedding set and it was beautiful. So I wanted another ring and I had been looking around at the jeweler. I found one. He drew a picture of it and kept it in a drawer for four years. Then we moved out of Park Stake and into Wells Stake. We were only there for six months but I became certified to play the Assembly Hall organ for special events. We moved back, some difficulties transpired and we moved back into Park Stake into Princeton Ward. (Mitchell) just felt it was time to make my wedding ring. He had a hard time making it. … I got impatient with him and I wanted the ring finished. I was reading scriptures and I read to be submissive and keep humble and I knew that I had been pressuring him. … I knelt down and prayed and the Lord wanted me to be submissive to my husband. But he finished the ring just before we were released as temple workers after only a year.
Steele: He finally made it?
Steele: Did you like the ring?
Barzee: Yes. I had to wait a long time.
Steele: How long had you played the organ in the Assembly Hall?
Barzee: I was certified by Clay Christiansen, my first organ teacher. … He became Tabernacle (music director). He certified me over the telephone. I waited, he told me that he couldn't wait for me to play for the event, I waited five months before I was called to play. The first memorial service, I think I played for three memorial services and played for stake conference and seminary graduation.
Steele: How difficult is that? Are many people certified to play in the Assembly Hall?
Steele: Did you and Brian have religious dialogues in the home? Did you pray?
Barzee: We always prayed, but he was always critical of me for the shows I wanted to watch. He wouldn't allow me to watch shows I wanted to. If I started watching a show, he would punish me if he didn't want to watch it. He would be angry, leave the room, not have anything to do with me until I gave him what he wanted. He was very particular on shows he wanted to watch. He even sold our TV saying we would only watch videos he would pick out.
Steele: What shows weren't you able to watch?
Barzee: There was "9 to 5" that I saw one time that I thought was a delightful show. I laughed throughout it. I thought it was comedic. It wasn't a bad show. I saw that once when I was still with my first husband but he never wanted me to watch it.
(Steele shows defense exhibit.)
Barzee: That's Brian David Mitchell.
Steele: Do you know what time period that would be?
Barzee: No. I don't think that was that first photo he gave to me, maybe.
Steele: So he gave that to you in 1985?
Barzee: I think so.
Steele: Was it a photo of him around that time, mid '80s?
Barzee: I don't know when he had it taken.
Steele: Does it look like at that time?
Barzee: I think so.
Steele: So that looks like the first photo he gave you?
Barzee: I think so. He didn't give me very many. I just remember one or two.
Steele: Did you give him photos?
Steele: Do you have a lot of photos?
Barzee: I used to take photos a lot. I had family pictures on the wall of my first husband and I. Before we married, (Mitchell) had me throw darts at it for the problems I had.
Steele: Tell me what that was about.
Barzee: That was the deal with the abuse I suffered with my first husband. He didn't think I ought to have it on my wall, he thought it was hurtful to me. We had an argument … he apologized by giving me darts … he took the picture off the wall and put it on the cardboard box and had me throw darts at it.
Steele: Who are you talking about?
Barzee: My first husband, so I threw a dart and it got him right between the eyes.
Steele: Good for you. … Are you OK?
Steele: In the early 1990s, you're talking about some of that time frame. He's working for O.C. Tanner?
Barzee: He first started working at O.C. Tanner when we first got married. He … working at retail store downtown, before we got married, that when they turned children's bench over to him. He made a children's set, he made our first anniversary ring, which was significant. It had pearl which represented the Lord, and the pearl sitting on a leaf, and there was rose that had a diamond in the middle of it, that represented manifestations of God's love, and a thorn on the band represented the adversity in my life. I think he worked, I don't remember when he went down to the factory, I think he worked at the O.C. Tanner factory for eight years as a dye-cutter.
Steele: When did he stop working there?
Barzee: I don't remember. He worked for Historical Arts and Casting for about eight months before I played my third organ recital in 1994.
Steele: Tell me about the third organ recital.
Barzee: I had started organ lessons with organ professor Doug Bush at BYU. I would independently go down, (I had to) provide for myself. We couldn't afford much so I started taking biweekly and this was the same time about that we had moved down into Wells Stake, about the same time I became, I played the Assembly Hall organ. I felt that I needed to take weekly lessons and so we made a sacrifice financially and i studied with Doug Newton Hill for three years. I was practicing the music of J. Sebastian Bach and he was taking me on different levels with Bach, and I can't remember the composer's name, Messiaen or something like that and Du Pre and then he evolved in my mind to play another organ recital. I wanted to do it for myself and find a church to do it in. He got frustrated with me. I knew the Lord had a lesson for me before I was prepared to play.
Steele: Why was he frustrated?
Barzee: I just didn't feel I was prepared.
Steele: At some point you gave the recital?
Barzee: Dr. Bush was bishop in his ward (and) said he would let me know when I was ready, when I learned the lesson that I needed to learn, one of the lessons was to let the music become my friend.
Steele: The recital in 1994, he set it up for you?
Steele: You connected this in with Brian's job in some way?
Barzee: Brian had given me a priesthood blessing in 1993 after we were released as temple workers, I think, and he told me that I had played celestial pipe organs in the pre-existence and I was associated with gods and that my calling was to glorify God and play music to strengthen and inspire his soul. I wasn't to play for the world, I was going to be called to play for people who were living the celestial law.
Steele: And bringing it back again to his job. Was it connected up with his job at some point?
Barzee: Well I was practicing for this recital, and he was working at historical art and candlesticks and making reproductions of Frank Lloyd Wright candlesticks selling for over $3,000, and felt like he was selling idols. And because of muscle spasms I was having pain in my back and shoulder, and because of stress. Then we couldn't afford the chiropractor bills and my mother hear of Dr. West studying lymphology down in Utah, and we got the material and went to work on my body. And I was healed and my stepfather was healed from cancer.
Steele: Who had healed you?
Barzee: Just from doing work on trampolines and the healing technologies.
Steele: At some point he had quit his job and the two of you we're interested in Dr. West and lymphology?
Barzee: Brian thought it was the Lord's will that he learn lymphology because of the three brothers that worked in historic arts and casting. And so I played Christmas music for Christmas program when I got ready to do my recital, and when his employers didn't come to my recital it was a sign from the Lord that Brian was to learn lymphology.
Steele: Because they didn't come?
Steele: What happened after he quit his job?
Barzee: Dr. West and President Ezra Taft Benson. When he was alive, President Benson always wanted the science to be taught in Salt Lake City and Dr. West was the only one in Utah. Brian thought he could do the same thing Dr. West did and live off the donations. That's why he quit his job — to support us and make living in Salt Lake City. … That organ concert was the turning point in my life and I was going to play for God the Father and Jesus Christ and all my ancestors. I felt the power of God there, and I was told in my priesthood blessing that the Lord would lead me in exaltation from that day forth and that was the turning point in my life. So we couldn't make the house payment and sold everything we owned and miraculously a fifth wheel trailer was provided. And we moved up to Heber, Utah, next to my sister Evelyn and her husband, Dick, and their trailer and Brian would go to Orem, Utah, to train with Dr. West.
Steele: During this time, you liked lymphology and it had helped you?
Steele: And Brian clearly liked to, too? He thought it was s very good thing?
Steele: There was also a healthy aspect to it? A diet aspect it that true?
Steele: Was there a religious aspect to it?
Barzee: Well you didn't have to pay taxes. It was like church and Dr. West was teaching it by himself. That was the first time he called Brian and another man to work with him on the phones.
Steele: So Brian and the first man were the first ones to work with Dr. West?
Barzee: That's correct.
Steele: What did they do on the phone?
Barzee: Teach people internationally.
Steele: Was Brian sincere in teaching lymphology?
Barzee: I though he was.
Steele: Were you still following the church?
Barzee: At the time, yes.
Steele: That's when you were up in Heber?
Barzee: That's when Brian decided not to go to the meetings anymore, and I followed him.
Steele: How did you feel about not going to meetings anymore?
Barzee: I didn't think anything about it. Brian left and had troubles with the car and said he had impression to come back and get me. I don't remember what I felt, but I left the meetinghouse and went out and looked for Brian and there he was. And he didn't think that we should be affiliated with any organized religion at that time.
Steele: Did he stop believing in God?
Barzee: No. He said he still believed in God.
Steele: Did he talk to you about that?
Steele: Did he talk to you about what his belief in God was?
Steele: How do you know he still believed in God?
Barzee: I don't.
Steele: What were you doing up in Heber?
Barzee: They made me ward organist and they had me do a solo in a sacrament meeting and it reminded me of the piece I played at my organ recital. I had the same kind of response from by congregation.
Steele: So you were still involved?
Steele: How long were you in Heber?
Barzee: Four months.
Steele: Where did you go after?
Barzee: Brian looked at the map and felt like we should go north he didn't know where but he was the lord would reveal it to us.
Steele: So Brian was back talking about the Lord at that time?
Steele: So what did you do?
Barzee: We left on Labor Day. We'd never pulled a trailer before.
Steele: Labor Day, which year?
Barzee: 1994, I think.
Steele: You were talking about living in a trailer and he'd never done that before?
Barzee: He had never driven a truck before either, but the steering wheel had a lot of hay in it and driving down the canyon he had to stop to make it pull better. I told him to pull out wide, and he didn't. And he bent out the axel in the trailer, and we were stuck there for three days replacing the axel. And in a priesthood blessing we were told we needed to simplify our lives by getting rid of some things and that we would reach our destination with all of our belongings and that the angel would be with us.
Steele: What place did you come to?
Barzee: Evelyn, my sister, had taken us to St. Mary's and Brian had lost the faith and we ended up in St. Mary's at their friend's house. And we talked to Randy … who contacted some people who was owner of the Pleasant Valley Farm in new Grangeville. I don't remember the town.
Steele: What was Pleasant Valley Farm?
Barzee: 160 acres with five or six LDS families living on it who were trying to simplify things. Kathy found out we weren't active in the church and thought we joined in the community and were apostate police.
Steele: So she and her husband were one of the couples up there?
Steele: Were they in charge?
Barzee: I think they owned some property up there they just didn't participate they found out about apostate beliefs and didn't participate.
Steele: What apostate beliefs were those?
Barzee: We found out later they had a white Bible. I didn't like it and I didn't have a good feeling bout it.
Steele: And that was a Bible that the community was … ?
Barzee: There was a meeting and Moroni and Ruth and she believed she had priesthood or something. And she was going to teach us to pray to God the Father without going through Jesus Christ. And Brian said their teachings were false.
Steele: You were both offended by what they were doing? There was a set of beliefs you held very dearly?
Steele: Where did you go from there? Who took you in?
Barzee: Brian had testified against the whole community. He told them they were going to fail. Members of the community got very angry and wanted us off the property and it was Tom McKnight who came to our trailer. He was a high councilman at the time. He wanted me to play a solo at the church at the Grangeville ward (where he) talked on Sunday. I told him I couldn't do that. He said if anything happened at the farm we would have a place on his property.
Steele: Did you go live on his property?
Barzee: About a week later, the man that was partners on the at the Pleasant Valley farm, he came from Spokane, Wash., I think it was, and I guess they were waiting for him to come to the property and we had him come and there were two other men who came to our trailer and told us that we needed to leave or they would go to no extent to get us of the property.
Steele: You got to Tom McKnight's. How long did you live there?
Barzee: I don't remember, Tom and Betty … would go to Salt Lake often and we would stay in the trailer and take care of the animals in the home for them. We were just always crossing paths. I think it was, let me see, it was around 1995, Brian went for a walk one day. There wasn't any way to pay for our trailer and he came back and said that it was the Lord's will that we sell everything we owned and buy backpacks and tents and sleeping bags and go hitchhiking across the nation.
Steele: Did you enjoy your time at McKnight's property?
Barzee: Yes I did.
Steele: (Was it) six months, eight months or not quite that long or longer?
Barzee: I just don't know, I know that Tom and Betty were gone to Salt Lake one time. I was playing their piano, I felt impressed to start going to church again. We became members of the Kooskia ward, I think, I was made pianist in the Relief Society, though we weren't, I don't remember how long we were members of that ward.
Steele: So did you get rid of your possessions?
Barzee: We had them up for sale and it was Fred and Janice Benson, who also lived there, that we gave two pictures we had and food storage we had to their family and we put everything else up for sale with a yard sale, or it was some small store down there.
Steele: So you sold everything, and then did you leave?
Barzee: I think it was August 8 that we were on the property of Fred and Janice Benson. (I had) another priesthood blessing and I felt I was given specific instruction on how we were to travel hitchhiking across the nation to see the sights and hear the history of the church, first to stop at Adam-ondi-Ahman and go on from there.
Steele: Is that what you did?
Steele: Did you write a book about it?
Barzee: I kept a journal.
Steele: What did you call that journal?
Barzee: I can't remember.
(Defense exhibit 10 received)
Barzee: I think this is the journal that I wrote when we went through the nation.
Steele: Is it typed or handwritten?
Barzee: It's in my handwriting.
Steele: And your handwriting is special, is it not?
Barzee: It was then. I was always right-handed but when we traveled through the nation and we were up in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Palo Alto in California and we stayed there for five months while we built the handcart, and I felt impressed to practice writing with my left hand, so this was all written with my left hand.
Steele: I'll get the technology together to show everybody that, but how long did it take to teach yourself to write left-handed?
Barzee: I took me a while. When Brian said he was ministering, I would be at libraries, I would practice writing recipes and things down.
Steele: If I were to call that calligraphy as opposed to mere handwriting, would that be a fair thing to say?
Steele: You were talking about the Santa Clara Mountains and building the handcart. Describe that to me.
Barzee: It was a box. It had two doors, one in front and one in back. It had a handlebar that we stood behind and pulled it. Brian had built extensions on top, he called it two wings that opened up and held our tent on. The front door and back door opened up and (on the) front part we would keep our dishes and stove and things to travel with.
Steele: How long did it take to build that?
Barzee: We were up in the Santa Cruz Mountains five months and I think it took about that long.
Steele: I think I misspoke, it's the Santa Cruz Mountains. What did you do with the handcart? Where did you pull it?
Barzee: We pulled it, I can't remember the name of the highway but Palo Alto, I think it was, I can't remember the name of the road, but I know some police officer pulled us off the side of the road and was giving us a ticket for it, and he didn't think we were gonna come back to pay the ticket. But we were released and we were able to go on the journey… We pulled into San Francisco and across the Golden Gate Bridge. It's been so long ago, I don't remember, we ended up, on difficult passages there would be people provided to take it over difficult passages for us.
Steele: Do you remember Frank DiSalvo? Was he one of those people?
Barzee: He and his wife, he owned a guitar shop, I think in Red Bluff or Reading, Calif. We needed new bicycle tires and it was gonna take us 3 days to get them there and Frank and Judy put us up for three days.
Steele: What happened to the handcart?
Barzee: Frank and Judy were ministering and he played guitar, and Frank had a revelation to say he had a book for us to read, "The Final Quest," and he gave us each a copy for us to read it, and he had a revelation we weren't gonna pull the handcart much longer, that it was just to strengthen us in our faith. From there he had gotten a truck and I think he gave us $50, and he gave us some clothes, and I think it was in Reading, Calif., that he let us out. And Brian and I, it must have been in November because we had celebrated my birthday there in a restaurant, and anyway, we pulled it for the last time to go up a hill. And just because it was too burdensome, we turned down the road and felt like we should give it to a Catholic charity that we found.
Steele: Looking at the journal, the first page of calligraphy, if you could look at that… I'll come back to that, I don't think that's where I intended you to look… So this was one of the places that you hitchhiked to?
Barzee: I think so.
Steele: What's the first place you hitchhiked to from Kooskia? Is that where you were?
Barzee: I'm confused now.
Steele: What's the first place, when you walked off the McKnight's property, where you hitchhiked to?
Barzee: Fred and Janice, we went back to Salt Lake after we sold all of our belongings. We stayed in a field. That's where I was told to get caught up on my journal. I was to write in the journal every day. Then we went back to Fred and Janice's after July 24, and Fred told us that all of our property had been sold. I think we got a check for $1,900, I don't remember the amount exactly.
Steele: Was it after that that you headed off on the trip out east?
Barzee: We still needed to get backpacks and sleeping bags. Brian thought we should hitchhike to Spokane, Wash. That was what we did before Fred's instructions to go back east.
Steele: What were the instructions?
Barzee: We were to leave on Aug. 15, 1995. We would take the backpacks and tent and the Lord would provide the rides for us, and that we would be protected. We were to take $300, and if we couldn't get $300, then take $200, and if we couldn't get $200, then take $100. And we only got $100. And there were people that never picked up hitchhikers before who felt impressed to turn around and pick us up.
Steele: You talked about, where did you go in this journey? What are some of the places, the highlights where you went?
Barzee: There was Adam-ondi-Ahman. I don't remember where these places are… I can't remember that either. It was a beautiful property, I think the Saints are supposed to gather there in the last days.
Steele: You went to places important to LDS?
Steele: Name someplace.
Barzee: We went to Carthage Jail where Joseph Smith was martyred, and we went to, there was a jail in Liberty, before we got in to Nauvoo. We went to Nauvoo. Then, before we got in to the Sacred Grove in Palmyra, I received another blessing to say that, filled by righteous desire, we were to go into Boston, Philadelphia and New York City, where we were to see the sites of the Constitution and the Founding Fathers. At our discretion, I was to seek out humble churches to play three recitals in Boston, Philadelphia and New York City in that order, each city getting progressively larger and more wicked. We were counseled to preserve those things the Lord had given us in order that our lives would be preserved.
Steele: Did you give the recitals?
Barzee: I did, miraculously, I gave them, in 21 days I played three recitals. By that time I found … there weren't any physical bodies, there was just a very few, I think there was five physical bodies in Philadelphia but we felt spirits. In Boston, Mass., I felt Satan's power to cause me to quit playing, but I knew it was Satan's power so I kept playing the recital and got through that. In Philadelphia, we were given $250 to rent the sanctuary. The Lord said that was a test of me that I really, truly deserved to glorify Him and didn't seek worldly fame, so he paid the debt off in His own way.
Steele: Who paid the debt in his own way?
Barzee: We didn't come up with the $250. All we had was $50, and the proprietor just thanked us for coming and sharing my talent, and wished us well on our way.
Steele: You went to New York and played there. There were really few people there, but who was there?
Barzee: There wasn't anybody there in New York City. The spirits we felt were here. Brian even felt to stand up and welcome the spirits there.
Steele: You played for spirits.
Steele: What was the program you played?
Barzee: It was the same program in the three recitals that I played in 1994.
In previous testimony Thursday, another family member of Brian David Mitchell took the stand Thursday to talk about the formative years of the man accused of kidnapping Smart.
Tim Mitchell, Brian Mitchell's younger brother, took the witness stand first. A counselor at Bear River Mental Health, he testified that as a child, Brian had many projects going on, sometimes not to the approval of his parents.
"He was, um, a creative person. He always seemed to have some sort of funny or interesting project going on. He and I were probably close because he was my big brother and I looked up to him," Tim Mitchell said.
Among Brian Mitchell's projects as a child: he built model airplanes, model rockets, tried to build a roller coaster in his backyard and one day tried to build a parachute so he could jump off his neighbor's garage.
During one particularly interesting project, Mitchell tried to turn his backyard into a nudist resort by putting up sheets around his backyard.
"One day my sister came in and said, 'Brian is out there in the backyard sunbathing without any clothes on,' " Tim Mitchell recalled.
On another occasion, Mitchell tried to build a hot air balloon, but it landed on a roof and caught it on fire, prompting the children to throw snowballs at it to try and put it out.
Tim Mitchell recalled the teasing Brian Mitchell gave his younger siblings and the confrontations he had with his mother. Their father often disciplined Brian by either whipping him with a belt or dropping him off in downtown Salt Lake City and making him find his way home. But during those times, Tim Mitchell said Brian Mitchell actually enjoyed the adventure of finding his way back.
On some occasions, Brian Mitchell would feel bad about the trouble he gave his family and how he was viewed as the dark sheep of the family.
"At times I'd see him crying, upset, remorseful," Tim Mitchell said.
Tim Mitchell talked about Brian Mitchell's first wife, Karen. The two got married as teens and lived in Mitchell's house after she became pregnant. But Tim Mitchell did not believe Karen was someone Brian would have otherwise married. The two continued to party and drink even after having kids, he said.
Tim Mitchell admitted it was "emotionally upsetting" to be on the witness stand Wednesday.
He talked about when he went to visit Brian Mitchell after his brother fled with his two children to New York and New Hampshire to avoid a custody battle with Karen. At that time, drinking and smoking marijuana was part of his brother's lifestyle, Mitchell said.
After Brian Mitchell returned to Utah, he went with Tim to southern Utah and had a kind of "conversion religious experience," Tim Mitchell testified.
Brian Mitchell still did not want Karen to find him, so they took a trip to a sort of compound in Escalante. At that time, Brian Mitchell was sort of atheistic, Tim Mitchell said. But during a heart-to-heart conversation while sitting around a campfire, Brian Mitchell threw his cigarettes in the fire and decided he wanted to change, he said. Brian Mitchell shaved his beard and started going to church when he got back.
But Brian Mitchell would not take the sacrament in church, telling his brother, "My sins were worse than yours."
When Tim Mitchell came back from his LDS mission, Brian Mitchell had met a woman named Debbie, moved in with her, had cut off communication with the family and was acting "suspicious" or paranoid of all family members, he said.
After Brian Mitchell's divorce from Debbie, he married Wanda Barzee. He told Tim Mitchell that he had to "go through a lot of counseling" and met Barzee there.
"He seemed more stable at that time," Tim Mitchell said. "He seemed more himself."
Brian Mitchell got a job at O.C. Tanner and was involved in the LDS Church again at that time, Tim Mitchell said. He said Barzee always seemed to have a smile on her face in the early years and laughed a little, but she also always seemed nervous.
"There was something a little different about her," Tim Mitchell said.
Brian's son from his first marriage, Travis, moved in with Brian Mitchell and Barzee and was having trouble in school and rarely attended. Travis was one of two children whom Brian Mitchell placed into foster care and eventually the children were adopted by another family.
Later, in a letter that Tim Mitchell received from Brian, his brother was very upset over a scolding he received from their mother about adopting the two children. The letter seemed odd, Tim Mitchell said, and his brother's downward spiral started from there.
When Tim Mitchell saw Brian a little later in Logan, Brian Mitchell hugged and kissed his brother.
"I got the impression he was trying to be perfectly righteous, tried to do everything by the Bible," he said.
That was also about the time Mitchell got involved in the study of lymphology, calling it a revolutionary medical treatment that could cure anything. But Mitchell felt there was a conspiracy in the nation to prevent lymphology from spreading. Tim Mitchell told him that it was nothing more than massage.
The family then lost contact with Mitchell and Barzee, only later to find out they had been traveling the country and were homeless.
"He told me that he felt that Wanda had a special spiritual gift for music, and they went to different churches and asked if Wanda can do an organ recital. He said, 'I'm on a ministry to the homeless,' " Tim Mitchell testified. "He said he was on a mission from God to serve the homeless."
Tim Mitchell told his brother he thought he was drifting away from the church and that he may have been "deceived by a spirit."
Barzee responded by saying she was having a bad feeling and they both stormed out.
In the time leading up to the kidnapping, Brian Mitchell told his family that Barzee had had a revelation and wanted them to call them by their new names, something Tim Mitchell refused to do.
"He's getting weirder and weirder," Tim Mitchell said, adding that he told his brother: "I'm not going to call you David. I think you're going off on the wrong path."
That's when Tim Mitchell told his family that his brother's condition "is really starting to look like mental illness."
Tim Mitchell sent letters to his brother encouraging him to get help.
"He was becoming increasingly emotionally disturbed," Tim Mitchell said.
After the kidnapping, Tim Mitchell was interviewed by Dr. Michael Welner, the prosecution's key expert witness. Tim Mitchell told him that based on his mental health training, looking back now, he thinks Brian Mitchell exhibited symptoms in his teenage years that he would diagnose as bipolar.
"The only thing I sensed was he was kind of asking me questions based on what he believed," Mitchell said, noting that he disagreed with the direction Welner was going in his interview. "But there's a lot about Brian that I don't know and a lot about it that I don't understand. I just have my impression, it's based on what I observed, but I might be wrong."
During cross-examination, Tim Mitchell was asked if he knew how many interviews Welner conducted for his study.
"I heard he got paid $500,000 so I assume he did a lot of interviews," he replied.
Kristian Erickson, pastor of the Christ Lutheran Church in Murray, recalled a time before the kidnapping that Mitchell and Barzee came to his church with their homemade handcart and asked if they could camp in the parking lot.
"They had experienced some type of accident that had injured his wife," he said. "He said that their handcart had rolled over her and possibly inured her ribs."
Erickson said he took note of Mitchell's robes and that he asked to be called "Immanuel."
"It was a robe, not unsimilar to robes I wear on Sunday mornings. It was a traditional Sunday School type picture of Jesus, long hair, long beard," he said. "I wondered about mental stability, about possibly being delusional."
Erickson described Mitchell as being very well mannered and did not pose any type of threat to anyone or anything.
During cross-examination, prosecutors asked if Mitchell had any religious debate or disagreement with the pastor. He said he did not.
Mitchell and Barzee lived for six months in the mid 1990s on a farm in a commune in a small community near Lewiston, Idaho. Patricia McKnight's husband was the bishop of that area.
"It was through our church that we met them," McKnight testified.
McKnight remembered Barzee as a very talented organist. Both of them were very well kept at that time, she said. At that time, Mitchell and Barzee lived in a fifth wheel trailer that McKnight later found out Mitchell had stopped making payments on.
But during her testimony, her answers seemed to favor the prosecution more than the defense. McKnight remembered one incident in particular in which Mitchell gave Barzee a special blessing.
"She said, 'He told (Barzee) that (she) was one of the chosen people and that when the Lord came back, I would be playing the organ for him.' "
McKnight said Barzee was "just glowing" over the blessing.
"She was just so thrilled about it … more than happy," McKnight said. "She wanted to please the Lord in every way and wanted to be accepted."
But then McKnight added, "I think that Brian manipulated her that way. I that was his control over her. … I thought it was an unusual blessing to promise her those things."
McKnight said she didn't think that so much at the time, but looking back now, she said that's what she believed was happening.
She also added during cross examination, "I didn't feel (Mitchell) was dominating her continually."
Prosecutor Felice Viti asked what it would have been like for Barzee to be taken away from her music when Mitchell decided to leave.
"I imagine it would be like tearing out her heart," McKnight said.
Mitchell sang "Oh Come, O Come Immanuel" for several minutes before singing another Christmas song. He actually stopped singing briefly, but resumed again when U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball first entered the room. He briefly paused again just before the jury was brought into the courtroom, but resumed singing "Oh Come, Oh Come Immanuel" again and was removed from the courtroom to a nearby annex.
Barzee is expected to testify later today. She was sentenced earlier this year to federal prison in Ft. Worth, Texas, and was subpoenaed by Mitchell's defense team to testify. She arrived at the federal courthouse Thursday morning from the Davis County Jail, where she is being held until her testimony is over.
Both Mitchell and Barzee were charged in state and federal court with kidnapping Smart in 2002 and holding her captive for nine months before the three were discovered walking along State Street in Sandy.
For many years, Barzee was ruled incompetent to stand trial. But after treatment at the Utah State Hospital, her competency was restored, which resulted in a quick plea deal in both her state and federal cases. As part of the deal, Barzee was to cooperate with prosecutors in Mitchell's federal court case.
On Wednesday, a parade of witnesses took the stand, including Mitchell's parents and two of his sisters.
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